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Garden of Fiends Audiobook

Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror

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Publisher's Summary

The intoxication from a pint of vodka, the electric buzz from snorting cocaine, the warm embrace from shooting heroin - drinking and drugging provide the height of human experience. It's the promise of heaven on earth, but the hell that follows is a constant hunger, a cold emptiness. The craving to get high is a yearning as intense of any blood-thirsty monster.

The best way to tell the truths of addiction is through a story, and dark truths such as these need a piece of horror to do them justice.

The stories inside feature the insidious nature of addiction told with compassion yet searing honesty. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental deaths, and some of the most incredible names in horror fiction have tackled this modern day epidemic.

"A Wicked Thirst" by Kealan Patrick Burke

"The One in the Middle" by Jessica McHugh

"Everywhere You've Bled and Everywhere You Will" by Max Booth III

"First, Just Bite a Finger" by Johann Thorsson

"Last Call" by John FD Taff

Torment of the Fallen" by Glen Krisch

"Garden of Fiends" by Mark Matthews

"Returns" by Jack Ketchum

©2017 Mark Matthews (P)2017 Mark Matthews

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  •  
    Todd (Toad) Vogel 06-07-17 Member Since 2016

    I love almost anything post-apocalyptic, zombie, scifi, ect. Always looking for some new earhole entertainment!

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    "Freaked me out!"

    This book was absolutely terrifying at times. The spiders!!! OMG! The book was also very sad. I actually felt bad for the addicts and what they go through mentally. The stories deal with all types of addicts and are all pretty creepy! Great collection of scary stories from some great authors. Rick Gregory did an excellent job with the narration, even making it sound a bit creepier at times. Loved it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lomeraniel Spain 06-06-17
    Lomeraniel Spain 06-06-17
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    "Horrors of addiction"

    I received a copy of this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

    This is an anthology about a different kind of horror. It is not the explicit horror we find sometimes in books, but the real one caused by addiction. Sometimes these monsters can be scarier than the ones in our imagination.

    A Wicked Thirst by Kealan Patrick Burke
    A man and his insatiable thirst for alcohol will push him to do the unthinkable. It is a rather dark story with powerful images.

    The One in the Middle by Jessica McHugh
    In a near future a new kind of drug is causing havoc in society. This tale was imaginative and complex.

    Garden of Fiends by Mark Mathews
    This one is longer than the others. Tara is recovering from addiction thanks to her loving family. But her boyfriend is released from prison and things start to go south. She will be tempted, her father's trust issues will push him to do unforgivable things and her mother will drastically change. A vivid example of how drugs can destroy a family. Sad and tragic, and with well written characters.

    First, Bit Just a Finger by Johann Thorsson
    This story is a good metaphor for drug use. It has powerful and very clear images about how one can end up if taking this route.

    Last Call by John FD. Taff
    Ted is unable to give up alcohol, so his AA sponsor will offer a miracle bottle that will end this hell forever. The only problem is that Ted's past will catch up with him.

    Torment of the Fallen by Glen Krisch
    Maggie is on the run but she is trying to locate her father. She should not have, it was too late.

    Everywhere You’ve Bled and Everywhere You Will Be by Max Booth III
    A man starts bleeding from his penis, and scared of what it might mean, he decides to take refuge in the old good drugs. I really liked this one. It has good images and great characters.

    Returns by Jack Ketchum
    This story is about a ghost who returns with a purpose, he will just have to figure it out.

    Some of these stories are quite weird, but the good kind of weird. They will allow us to visit the parallel universe of drug addicts but without the dangers of using. A bit gore sometimes, but well written stories with powerful images that will haunt the listener for some time after finishing the book.

    Rick Gregory did a very good job narrating this stories. He transmitted well the characters emotions and his pace and tone kept my attention at all times.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    erobbins33 06-03-17
    erobbins33 06-03-17 Member Since 2017

    I love audiobooks!!!

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    "Gruesome!"

    Let me start by saying, this book was nothing like I expected. If you are not someone who enjoys gore, you might want to sit this one out. I love extreme horror, and I guess this could work as a "scared straight" type of intervention. That said, this was easily one of the stranger anthologies I've ever come across. From magic booze to cannibalism to spiders (shudder), this book covers all of the scariest tropes in horror, while also strangely discussing all sorts of addictions and the mindset of an addict (both current and recovering). If you can handle the massive amounts of gore, this anthology is also an excellent social discourse about the dangers of addictions. The narrator did a great job holding my interest, and not stumbling during some of the nastier scenes. Well done, all around.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Niagara Falls, NY 06-22-17
    Brian Niagara Falls, NY 06-22-17 Member Since 2015

    Check out BriansBookBlog DOT com for more reviews.

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    "Addiction Is Utterly Terrifying"

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Each story really held it's own in this book and really made for some terrifying (and sometimes almost too real) depictions of what addiction is like.  I've had friends who have died from overdoses due to addiction and it's not easy to watch.  I cannot imagine living it (but I can a little better after reading this).

    I wasn't 100% sure what I was getting into when I first picked this book up.  I thought it was just another horror anthology, but I was dead wrong.  This is a collection of stories about addiction told as if they were a horror story (which they basically are).  You are no longer in control of your body -- the addiction is.

    I will tell you this about Garden of Fiends -- it wasn't easy to finish in one sitting.  Not because the stories weren't good, but because they were too good.  They were so brutal and brutally honest that I found myself having to stop after each one to digest exactly what happened and how I felt about it.

    Adding to a well-done collection of stories was the narration by Rick Gregory.  This is the first audiobook by him I've listened to and I loved it.  You can tell that Gregory has worked around, with, and through narrators for a long time because he really understands the nuances of what telling a great story are.

    Overall, an enjoyable collection of short stories that easily could have been standalone stories.  I'm glad that Matthews put them all together though because I got to read them all in one spot.  After finishing this I went and hugged those who are close to me.

    I was given a free copy of this audiobook, this has not affected my review in any way.

    If you like this review, please vote for it. Every vote really does help! If you'd like to see more reviews like this please check out BriansBookBlog DOT com.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DabOfDarkness Ojo Caliente, NM, United States 07-15-17
    DabOfDarkness Ojo Caliente, NM, United States 07-15-17 Member Since 2011
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    "I now fear spiders and small bits of meat"

    This anthology focuses on addiction, mostly drug and alcohol addiction. They range from science fiction to horror to the paranormal. The editor opens with a short foreword about addiction and his hopes that this anthology will provide some insight into the struggle of addicts and hopefully bring about some compassion for those suffering from addiction. Even if this anthology doesn’t do that for you, it’s still quite entertaining, insightful, riveting, sometimes disgusting, usually disturbing, and chock full of examples of bad decisions made.

    A Wicked Thirst by Kealan Patrick Burke

    Melinda and this guy, our unnamed narrator of this story, meet at a bar. They go back to her place and have sex, sort of. Then he wakes up out in the street being drowned in a rainwater puddle. A specter of Steven Carver, his former AA sponsor, reminds him of his failures. The timeline jumps around a little as our alcohol-sodden character tries to muddle through the night. What’s real, what’s not? What’s in the present and what’s in the past? This tale did a great job of showing the inner confusion of someone deep in the clutches of alcoholism. There’s this scene where this guy is burying his daughter’s dead cat and he cries, not for the cat, not for his daughter, but for himself and stuff that happened during his own childhood. This scene really brought home how this character has so much stuff that’s left unresolved in his life. 5/5

    The One in the Middle by Jessica McHugh

    Set in a future 2080s Patterson Park in Baltimore, the new drug of choice is Atlas. Heavy users like to inject it directly into their genitals, giving them a long-lasting incredible high. Perry Samson is still obsessed with his ex-wife Serina. He watches her from afar and thinks of her when he masturbates. He needs another high but his junkie friend Loshi thinks it’s high time Perry be the one to score and share. The author shows us the keen edge of depravity in this story. The Atlas junkies are willing to sell their flesh for a hit and some cash. Meanwhile, the rich who can afford the delicacy of well prepared human meat enjoy it in swanky restaurants. It reminded me of high school and college students who would sell plasma to go buy some pot. This was my favorite story in the bunch easily. I love the future SF setting (there’s TVs spread throughout the park showing The Wire reruns with all the hopeful scenes cut out) and yet we still have this drug culture, one in which there’s those who suffer and those who profit from it. 6/5

    Garden of Fiends by Mark Matthews

    Terra Snyder is in Narcotics Anonymous, living with her parents and trying to get her life back together. Then her former boyfriend Brett unexpectedly shows up. He’s in the Work Release Program while in prison. Against her better judgement, she goes with him to Russell’s place where they used to buy their drugs and hangout. The author shows us step by step how easy it is for someone to be roped back into the users lifestyle. The point of view bounces back and forth from Terra to her dad Gregory throughout the story. Gregory, Heather, and their daughter Terra (somewhat reluctantly) have been working on this urban farm in the middle of Detroit. Heather is one of those always upbeat, optimistic types who would never give up on her kid. Gregory, while not a perpetual optimist, would do anything to keep his daughter safe. This tale really showed how the blame game turns into an excuse to either shuck responsibility for past bad deeds or to commit more bad deeds. 5/5

    First, Just Bite a Finger by Johann Thorsson

    This bit of flash fiction dealt with a different kind of addiction, but I feel the spirit of it (exploring a new-to-you high) could be applied to any new addiction. Julia, 39, went to a party, buzz wearing off, so she’s looking to try something new. This guy Toussaint bites off the tip of his pinky finger. Julia thinks it’s a trick. However, as the week goes on Julia notices bits missing from her friends. This little horror flick ended a bit too soon for me. I felt there was more for Julia to tell us. 4/5

    Last Call by John FD Taff

    Ted is in AA but he keeps falling off the wagon, going from group to group. His sponsor Sam reluctantly sends him to a liquor store with a special card, telling him to ask for the last bottle he will ever need. The store owner gives him a little lecture about choosing life or death. The unlabeled bottle is referred to as a shortcut, which I thought was a great way to show later on that there is no shortcut when it comes to dealing with addiction. The story leaps forward 5 years here, 10 years there, etc., showing how Ted’s life has changed and yet how this shortcut bottle is still tucked away, hiding in his closet. The ending is left dangling and I would have liked a line or two to close it out. It would have made the story more poignant or hopeful depending on how things ended. 4/5

    Torment of the Fallen by Glen Krisch

    Maggie is headed from Phoenix to Aurora, IL to hunt down her long-lost father, Desmond Gabriel. She can see demons and her online paranormal activities, where she goes by Jenny Halloween, have finally given her a hint as to where her father is. Her father, a homeless man, was mentioned on a paranormal chat site, Torment of the Fallen. She meets a short man that goes by Cheddar near the supposedly haunted house where her father sometimes crashes. I enjoyed this story because it had that urban fantasy feel to it where demons were being investigated and a lost person would be found, hopefully. If this story wasn’t in an anthology that focused on addiction, I wouldn’t necessarily have picked up on those elements of the story. I hope we see more of Jenny Halloween in the future. 5/5

    Everywhere You’ve Bled and Everywhere You Will by Max Booth III

    Jeremy, 26, is bleeding from his urethra. Perhaps the hepatitis is getting to him though he asks his lover Eliza if she bit him. He hasn’t told her about his hepatitis yet. At work, it gets worse so he goes to a clinic where he runs into Nick, a former junkie friend. He has one confrontation after another and things get worse and worse for him. Let me just whisper it to you – spiders. Yep. This was easily the most creeptastic and scary story of the anthology! I don’t even have a penis or hepatitis and it made me shudder. 5/5

    Returns by Jack Ketchum

    In this short tale, Jill Hunt’s husband’s spirit returns from the dead. She’s been drinking since he was run over by a cab. He thinks he’s returned to help Jill get past his death and not succumb to alcoholism. She can see and hear him but she thinks it’s all in her head. This little story was rather sad as it involved a pet and this failed relationship. I felt that things were left a bit unresolved as I wanted to know what ultimately happened to Jill or her husband’s spirit. 4/5

    I received a free copy of this book.

    The Narration: Rick Gregory did a pretty good job with this anthology. There was a lot of ground to cover, that’s for sure! His female voices were pretty good. Melinda and Terra sounded like women. For the most part, he had distinct characters though in the story Garden of Fiends he occasionally sounded a bit mechanical and the characters weren’t distinct (I had to follow closely the dialogue between Brett and Terra to keep straight who said what). In the entire book, I only caught a single mispronounced word – conflagration. It just happens to be one of my favorite words and that’s why the butchering of it stood out. The pacing and volume were all well done. Over all, a well-done narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daman 07-11-17
    Daman 07-11-17 Member Since 2016

    A good listen makes for an amazing day!

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    "Creepy yet interesting with great narration"
    Would you listen to Garden of Fiends again? Why?

    Yes, it was mind boggling, creepy listening experience.


    Any additional comments?

    This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost."<br/>

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    WordsAPlenty - charla white Ann Arbor, Mi United States 07-10-17
    WordsAPlenty - charla white Ann Arbor, Mi United States 07-10-17 Member Since 2017

    Charla

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    "Horror in it's truest form - reality!"

    I was given a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

    I love horror; the creature features, zombie books, creepy music, and Halloween! I introduced our children to the classic monsters all the way through Halloween, Friday the 13th and the Chain Saw Massacre. I also enjoyed reading about serial killers and their twisted minds but I was in no way prepared for the horror of Garden of Fiends. Stories told from the perspective of addicts – alcohol, drugs and sometimes both, were much more than even I could handle.

    Sometimes true horror lies in the truth and with addicts, their truth is true horror. Having a daughter who has dabbled in Vicodin and more, having seen the results of a child impacted mentally by an addict mother, her withdrawal, and daily struggles, well this hit close to home. There does not seem to be an end and each of these stories builds on that horror.

    This is not a collection of stories for the faint of heart. There are aspects of each story that is gritty and real. I found this a difficult audiobook to finish because it was brutal and too realistic in portraying human nature and its frailty and selfishness.

    The narrator, Rick Gregory provided an extra level of creepiness with his narration style. His voice was smooth and emotionless. You knew something horrible was coming but he never let the listeners know it until it happened. The flow was flawless and did not rely on unnecessary dramatic flair.

    There were no issues with the audiobook or quality of production.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geoff 07-10-17
    Geoff 07-10-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Good stories, great narration..."
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed all these stories. a very compelling listen. The narrator did a great job performing them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bikram Agarwal 07-04-17 Member Since 2017

    Listening to audiobooks for few hours everyday since the start of 2017.

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    "Flat / Slurred narration. Preachy at times."

    I voluntarily received a free copy of this book from the author / narrator / publisher and am leaving an unbiased review.

    The stories were fine, though very uncomfortable at times. I would guess that was intended, to make the reader feel something about the issue. But then, at times the book's tone felt preachy. Just by the written words though. The narrator sadly failed to convey the mood of the book. The narration was flat for most part, devoid of any emotion or desperation. Only deviation from this was when the narration sounded slurred, as if the narrator was falling asleep or getting drunk himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    willee 06-16-17
    willee 06-16-17
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    "Anthology of Addiction Horror"

    OMG!! This is one insane horror book. It contains everything disturbing about drugs to alcohol, I cannot pick out a favorite. Stories that are sad and creepy to ghosts. Recommend to anyone who enjoys brutal human horrors with good narration. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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